Mahana Peak is one of the lesser known peaks in Wild Basin. It lies deep in this remote section of Rocky Mountain National Park with other, more prominent, peaks as it's neighbors. From its summit you will have incredible views of Isolation Peak, Ouzel Peak, Mt. Alice, Chief's Head, and Longs Peak. It is often climbed in conjunction with Isolation Peak, as it takes relatively little effort to summit Mahana after (or before)reaching Isolation.
Surrounded by high alpine lakes in a truly spectacular area, Mahana is a worthy destination in its own right.
Southern Cliffs of Mahana Peak.
You will need to enter the National Park at the "Wild Basin" Entrance. This is the Southern most entrance on the East side of the Park, about 20 minutes South of Estes Park on Hwy 7. From the entrance to the Park, you will follow a dirt road around Copeland Lake, following North St. Vrain Creek until you reach the Wild Basin Ranger Station and Trailhead. You will then hike along the Thunder Lake Trail, passing Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls. Follow the same trail until you reach a junction with the Bluebird Lake Trail. Head up the Bluebird Lake Trail and as you climb you will begin to see Mahana's southern cliffs dominating the skyline.
You can ascend the East Ridge, which will involve leaving any marked trail and picking your way through the old burn area up the obvious east ridge and over an expansive tundra field to the summit. You can also ascend it's western slopes from Isolation Lake. To do so, just continue on to Bluebird Lake and pick you way up to and around Lark Pond, Pipit Lake, and Isolation Lake. Climb to the saddle between Mahana and Isolation and make the steepening hike up class two slopes to the summit. Either way is roughly 8 miles, via Isolation Lake is a tad bit longer, but much more interesting!
The only permit required is a pass to get into the National Park. You can buy a week pass for $20, or an annual pass for $35. If you plan on camping in Wild Basin, you will need to contact the Backcountry Office at 970-586-1242. Fees for camping vary, depending on the season, and the number in your party. A parking pass will only be required when parking overnight. A pass is included in the price of you backcountry camping permit.
Fees for admission.
Camping is allowed in Wild Basin. There are a few campsites, some closer to Mahana than others. Call 970-586-1242 to make reservations. Fees will vary depending on season and the number in your party. These will ALL be STOVES ONLY campsites.
Backcountry Camping Info.
More Info. and maps of designated Backcountry Sites.
Here is the form to request a backcountry permit:
Backcountry Campsite Request Form